By Andy Young

The new State of the Industry Report from the Australian Liquor Stores Association and IRi has revealed that Australia’s take-away packaged liquor sector is currently valued at $16.2 billion.

The report, which has been released by ALSA and IRi today, provides a detailed analysis of Australia’s retail liquor market, giving retailers much-needed information about what is happening in the industry.

As well as detailing the value of the industry, the report also highlights that retail liquor generates $3.5bn in alcohol taxation, plus a further $1.7bn in GST, state payroll taxes and state liquor licensing fees. The industry also supports over 165,000 Australian jobs, directly employing more than 47,500 people across the country.

Importantly the State of the Industry Report also highlights that alcohol-related harms in the community have fallen during a time that consumers have had increased availability, lower real costs and increased competition. The report says: “The facts demonstrate that communities are more educated about alcohol and we are making much better choices than we have for many decades.”

ALSA CEO Terry Mott told TheShout: “The data shows that there is around 81 per cent of the over-18 population that consumes alcohol, so there 13.9 million consumers who are over 18 and the vast majority of those are clearly consuming responsibly. Even though the population is growing, consumption is declining. There are a number of factors at work, lifestyle, health consciousness, making better choices, premiumisation and there is no doubt there is some population dilution through immigration.”

The report also highlights that, despite calls from some areas to increase the price of alcohol as a means to reduce overall alcohol consumption, Australia is already one of the most expensive countries in the world to buy alcohol.

The graph shows that of the OECD countries who responded to the WHO Global Health Survey 2012, Australia has the second most expensive alcohol in all categories.

In other positive news for the industry, the State of the Industry Report shows that while volume sales in 2015 fell slightly, by 0.6 per cent, the value of liquor retailing increased by 1.5 per cent. That value growth was led by spirits, which grew by 3.7 per cent, contributing 50 per cent of the overall industry value growth.

Cider also saw strong value and volume growth, increasing its value by 4.5 per cent and its volume by 6.8 per cent and was responsible for eight per cent of the overall retail liquor growth.

Beer and wine also both saw value growth, with beer increasing by 1.2 per cent and wine up by 0.7 per cent, contributing 29 per cent and 12 per cent to the overall value growth respectively.

The report highlights that the turnaround in spirits, both light and dark, is particularly noteworthy, as the category was in decline in 2014, dropping 0.8 per cent, but then it accounted for 50 per cent of all retail liquor growth in 2015.

The ALSA-IRi State of the Industry Report is formerly launched in Canberra this evening and there will be workshops about the report in Canberra on Thursday morning and in Sydney on 5 April. You can register for these networking events through the ALSA website.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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